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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Richard Ripani

Richard RipaniAfter earning an undergraduate degree in music education from George Peabody College in 1977, Mr. Ripani embarked on a career as a professional musician. As a performer, he has many accomplishments to his credit, including numerous recording sessions in Nashville studios. Among these recordings are one double-platinum and two gold albums. As a live music performer, he has played with and/or conducted orchestras for several national-level musical artists across North America and Europe. During the 1980s, Mr. Ripani also acted as orchestra conductor at the Aladdin, Riviera, and Nugget Hotels in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada. TV programs on which he has performed include the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, the Jay Leno Show, the Mike Douglas Show, the Merv Griffin Show, Austin City Limits, and Nashville Now, among many others.

More recently, his music studies continued at Austin Peay State University, MM in instrumental conducting (1997), and at the University of Memphis where he completed a PhD in Musicology/Ethnomusicology (2004).  His book, The New Blue Music: Changes in Rhythm & Blues, 1950-1999, is published by the University Press of Mississippi and is currently held in the libraries of over 1000 colleges and universities, worldwide. In May of 2004, while an assistant professor of music at Cumberland University, he was selected to receive the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

His current responsibilities at Hume-Fogg Academic High School in Nashville, where he has taught since 2005, include directing the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Beginning Band, Silver Jazz Band, Blue Jazz Band, Jazz Knights Combo, and numerous small ensembles, as well as teaching AP Music Theory. The Hume-Fogg Silver Jazz Band performs at national-level jazz festivals and competitions across the country. Mr. Ripani is a member of TMEA, ASBDA, NBA, MTSBOA, and Phi Mu Alpha.